Our client, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, helps people buy their own health insurance. In preparation for this year’s open enrollment campaign, we worked with DHM Research to learn more about our target audience of young, low-to-moderate-income folks. We conducted four focus groups in the Portland metro area focusing on communities of color and Spanish speakers and three around the state in Eugene, Medford and Redmond.
As the account manager, I was on the hook for quite a road trip, but I wasn’t complaining. I genuinely love traveling for work. I get to see new places and, bonus, get my meals and hotels paid for too… at least, during the work part of the trip.
I usually try to bundle these trips with a vacation day or two. That’s how I was able to enjoy a skiing weekend in Alaska and to spend a day at a swimming hole in Austin. This time, I was able to see a play in Ashland and fit in a few hikes, one of which was scary enough to make me glad I had my own health insurance. (When a hiking guide says a hike includes some real climbing, believe it… and maybe don’t go by yourself wearing a heavy backpack and sneakers.)
I’m also an Oregonian who had never seen Crater Lake (I know, I know, I feel appropriately shamed).
The road between Medford and Redmond passes right by so I fit in a quick dunk into the lake. Surprise! It was cold.
Beautiful. 100% worth a visit.
Also, very cold.
When the trip was done and the data compiled, it turns out our target audience assumed they wouldn’t be eligible for help paying for health insurance. They didn’t have a firm grasp of what the insurance marketplace was or how subsidies were determined. In fact, they didn’t know much about health insurance at all other than that it was too expensive and hard to get. The insurance marketplaces are relatively new. Most people still don’t know how they work.
These insights led us to design two new creative components this year. One, titled “The Basics” lays out the simple facts about the Marketplace.
The other component, titled “Testimonials” features Oregonians talking about their real-life experiences signing up for health insurance. We think these true stories can counteract the skepticism we found in our target audiences.
Open enrollment has started and runs until December 15. Our hope is that this new creative moves the needle on sign-ups and that Oregon continues its streak of expanding health coverage. With the new creative running, I’m ready for another work trip. Maybe there’s a health insurance conference in Colorado? I hear Denver is nice…